I'm having a lot of fun working on my 73,000 mile, yellow, 1976 vet that was
actually given to me as a birthday present from my in-laws. Yeah, I know,
Anyway if anyone could give me some tips on the following...
1) The alarm always sounds when I turn the key to the "armed" position. My
understanding is that the alarm is tied into both door jamb switches and the
hood switch. The 4 door jamb switches all seem to work correctly, the
lights do go off/on. What would be the way to test the hood switch. Is
there something else I'm missing or another switch I need to check? A
2) It's still the original yellow color, but repainted with some black
detailing that (primarily the roof and the side air vents) done sometime in
it's history. Now, it has a few very small dings where the paint is
scratched to the fiberglas. On the driver's door, there's a outward bulge
exposing some fiberglas about the size of a quarter. It looks like this
happened when the door spring broke, fell into the door jamb space, and
someone opened the door, causing the spring to push out against the door. I
have no experience repairing fiberglas. What would you recommend.
3) The original radio works fine in FM, but there's no AM reception.
4) The windshield water bottle pump doesn't work. I've tested the leads
going to the pump and there's voltage, so I have a new pump to install.
It's hard enough just getting to the bottle and pump as there's not enough
room to remove the bottle. The power brake vacuum canister, steering shaft,
master cylinder, and inside side panel do not provide enough clearance. Is
there a way to remove the bottle without removing everything else? Can it
still be replaced inside the engine cavity?
I'll probably have more questions along the way, but that's enough for
You'll find answers to most of your questions in this group, so I'm not
going to do that. What I would like to do is offer you some perspective.
I have spent four committed years and thousands of dollars to get my
'77 into the shape where I now have only to worry about things like those
you mention. Be very, very grateful to in-laws who gifted this vehicle
First thing for you to do is get a Service Manual for the vehicle. A GM
Service Manual. You'll find them on e-Bay. In fact, get all kinds of
written material on your new car. It all helps.
I'm envious, sure, but also happy to hear of someone joining in the fun
of 'Vette rebuilding and maintenance. Welcome aboard, and realize that
some things are just a pain in the ass -- like the window washer bottle.
All part of it. All worth it.
(BTW, there are printed materials exclusive to things like the circuitry
of the alarm system and the vacuum system for the headlights. Get all
that stuff, too.) I don't have all the URLs of the various parts suppliers
close at hand, but someone here will. I'm trying to be, but still not
as organized with the information as I need to be.
Welcome to the world of Corvettes. Is this your first one?
Yes, it's my first Vette. I am 39 years old and loving it. My 13-year-old
son is drooling, just waiting for his permit at age 15. My 10-year-old
daughter likes me to drive fast. My wife actually drives it more than I do
I've learned a lot about the car since I got it last April. I've already
done the following:
- Replaced a few of the dashboard gauge lights
- Cleaned up the engine cavity a bit, all the majors appear to be original.
- The headlamps were going up & down very slowly, so I replaced the vacuum
hose and the vacuum hose air filter, now no problem.
- The hardest job so far for sure was having to replace the two small
springs that pull the rear brake shoes together when the parking brake is
not in use. The 30-year-old springs must have snapped when I used the
parking brake. The rotors are original and I had to drill the rivets out
just to get the rotor off to get to the darn shoes. Took a lot of patience
with needle-nose pliers to get the new springs in.
- Replaced the air cleaner filter, the small air filter on the side of the
air cleaner and the fuel filter.
- Oil change. Now using synthetic only.
- Oh a funny one. It spent all of its previous life in New Mexico where
there is no emissions testing. Somewhere along the way, someone removed the
Cat and welded a pipe in there. Well, they couldn't pass me here in
Colorado because it was missing the Cat. So, I had Meineke put in one and
passed the test. I got Collector Car plates, so now I don't have to have
emissions testing anymore. Oh well, at least I'm a good environmental
- The door springs that hold the doors open were missing. Put in new ones
I'm awaiting new side-view mirrors this week. The current ones must be
original. The ball/socket joint doesn't hold the mirror in place anymore.
Anyone need mirrors that don't work :)?
One of the bigger things I'll need to look at next spring is the blower.
Either it's not working well or there is some blockage, or the vacuum switch
that controls where the air is diverted to is screwed up. The heater seems
to work and air comes out the bottom vents when I choose Heater or
Defroster, but air will not come out the top vents when I choose Vent.
Since I'm on a roll, here are more questions.
- It rides pretty rough, every bump is felt. Obviously, the suspension
needs work. Would you replace all the springs, shocks, leaf spring, etc.
or take it one part at a time? What would you start with, the shocks?
Replace that weatherstripping soon and be sure you get no leaks inside the
car. Unlike earlier Corvettes, the '76 and up have metal floors that rust,
so leaks can be very bad. Unfortunately, most t-tops leak, and it takes a
lot to keep them sealed.
Many solve it by never driving in the rain, but my attitude is that it is a
car, it was designed to be driven, and if you hide from the rain, you lose
an awful lot of opportunity to drive it.
If you drove it every day in the rain, that would be one thing, but to hit
rain on a trip or get caught in it while out is no big deal.
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